We have just returned from a great trip to Norfolk. The main purpose of which was to see the huge flocks of Pink-footed Geese roaming the skies, filling the fields and sitting on the shoreline at Snettisham.
Of course we managed to fit a lot of other things in as well, including adding two new species to our growing bird list and bringing our UK total up to 213.
Our time started with a trip to Titchwell on the Sunday. Titchwell is one of our favourite places due to the diversity of species and habitats and always the chance of the ever elusive Bearded Tit. As usual we failed to see them yet again, we know winter isn't the best time, but you never know!
Anyway we had a good but sadly very wet day and cold day, as we reached the first hide the heavens opened, so we decided to stay put until it stopped, meaning we spent a good 90 minutes in there. Despite the weather we had good views from in the hide of Teal, Shoveler, Snipe, Water Rail, Godwit and a lonely Avocet:
Abbey Farm was nice with Teal, Woodpigeon and Crows being the predominant species, but the highlight was 3 or 4 Yellowhammers giving us a good show and out first Redwing of the Winter.
So onto Snettisham we wanted to be there at Sunset and see the Pink Foots head in and we weren't disappointed, of course whilst we waited there was plenty of waders and waterfowl to see. A huge flock of Golden Plover were on the mud flats which was nice to see:
The Pink Foots finally arrived in numbers and we watched them settle until it was too dark, I didn't take any PFG photos (too dark) but I think the sunset was worth a snap!
Next day saw us up at 5am and off back to Snettisham to see the Pink Foots take off again, are we mad or what! But we did. we were hoping for a mass exodus of the circa 30,000 geese, but they left a few thousand at a time, but still well worth seeing:
Wednesday was Holkham day, the plan was to park up walk along the beach, do a bit of Sea Watching, then head to the furthest hide for a while, then head back via another hide, again for the Pink Foots as this can be a really good spot for their overnight roost. As we parked up and headed off 3 Buzzards turned up, 2 pale morph and a Rough Legged:
The Sea Watching provided us with Surf and Velvet Scoter plus another load of Wigeon and a Great Northern Diver, no photos of these much too far away!
The Joe Jordan hide was a good spot for a late lunch and a Great White Egret among the cows!
Thursday was a bit dismal weather wise and we just tootled around the coast between Salthouse and as far up as Titchwell, we added a Stonechat to our list and got reasonably close to a group of Brent:
So last day and as planned we headed for an hours drive to Strumpshaw Fen, we in previous visits we had seen Bittern and Otters, so fingers crossed.
We sat in the reception hide for quite a while, but nothing much was happening, a solitary Shoveler posed for us: